A's tab Colon for Saturday start in Houston

A's tab Colon for Saturday start in Houston

OAKLAND -- The A's have opted to bring back right-hander Bartolo Colon as soon as they can, electing to start the veteran on the first day he's eligible to return from his 50-game performance-enhancing drug suspension.

That's Saturday in Houston, where the A's will be in the middle of a three-game set with their new division foes.

"You want to get him started sooner than later," manager Bob Melvin said. "We would've had to find another place for him to go pitch, and we just want to get him in there. We had targeted this all along."

It will mark Colon's first start in the Majors since Aug. 18. It was four days later when he was slapped with the 50-game ban after testing positive for testosterone, leaving the A's to continue their surprise run into the postseason without him.

Colon was enjoying a resurgent year with the A's, having gathered 10 wins and a 3.43 ERA up to that point. The club is hopeful that he's just as effective post-suspension in an otherwise young rotation that features Brett Anderson, Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone and A.J. Griffin -- all 26 years old or younger. Colon will be 40 in May.

Once Colon is officially back on the 25-man roster, right-hander Dan Straily -- scheduled to start Friday -- is expected to be optioned to Triple-A Sacramento. Anderson will follow him in the rotation on Sunday and, with an off-day on Monday, the A's are able to give Parker, Milone and Griffin two extra days of rest.

"We think that's the right thing to do based on their workloads last year," Melvin said. "As long as no one's really struggling that we need to skip, I think that will be our theme all year, to give these guys an extra day when we can."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.